Posts Tagged ‘cream cheese frosting recipe’

anxiously awaiting Christmas cupcakes part 2, or just anxious?

January 23rd, 2010

xmas 1xmas 2Sorry for the weeks-long break between part 1 and part 2 of Christmas cupcakes. No doubt you’ve been anxiously awaiting what now sounds like old news. Anxious just happens to be how I’ve been feeling too much since the break-in. And it really annoys me that not only did the thieves take things dear to me but they’ve also taken away my peace of mind—along with too much of my ability to get things done, like blogging.

My New Year’s strategy was to combat this. “Just show up,” I told myself. So where have I been? Apparently a little lost. No GPS. No Google Map directions. Dead cell-phone battery. Not even a paper map. (Remember those—you can still get them free from AAA.) I know friends and family are nearby, and I have to start somewhere. So here I am. We’ll have to see how well my own sense of direction serves me.

Back to Christmas dinner: Remember that we have pumpkin–chocolate chip cupcakes (really muffins, but let’s not quibble about details). We’ll pick up with making cream cheese frosting and Carter’s reminding me “I can do it myself, Mommy” (no doubt thinking “Thank you very much”). Jeff is much better than I am about encouraging Carter to do things for himself. It’s something I need to think of and do more often, so I handed over the electric handheld mixer. And Carter mixed the frosting.

Now comes Carter’s favorite part: red sprinkles. He did real-time decorating, taking the bowl of frosting and assorted red and green sprinkling options to the table, and custom topping a cupcake for each of us: Grandpa, Aunt Janet, Daddy, and Mommy.

I hope your holidays were as sweet and thoughtful as was my cupcake, and I will be showing up here again. No need to wait anxiously.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat to blend.

beer-spiked chocolate cupcakes

September 14th, 2009

Weeks ago, I signed up to make a dessert for our block party. It was today, but had completely slipped my mind until I got a reminder email around noon. Carter wanted to make cupcakes, which aside from the Linzer cupcakes, I haven’t made very often, so I went in search of a foolproof recipe.

I was reading through cookbooks and searching online, when I came across a five-star recipe on the Food Network site with an intriguing addition: a bottle of Guinness! On one hand, what doesn’t taste better with Guinness? On the other, I had never contemplated putting a bottle of beer in chocolate cupcakes. I don’t know why it works, but it does. (The alcohol cooks off during the baking process, so these are kid safe.)

Topping chocolate cupcakes off with cream cheese frosting also never hurts. Today, that’s what Carter was most interested in because he was making frosting for the first time. He loves to turn the crank on the sifter and hold the electric hand mixer by himself. He also insisted on frosting the cupcakes, which he did very carefully and deliberately, proving that baking is good for helping kids focus. (He had me “finish” them with a little smoothing.) And, of course, in the end, with cupcakes, it’s all about the sprinkles, lots and lots of sprinkles.

Note: Having the ingredients at room temperature helps keep the butter from clumping. If you’re short on time, putting the eggs and the bottle of beer in bowls of warm water speeds up the process.

Beer-Spiked Chocolate Cupcakes

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 pinches salt
1 1/2 cups (1 12-ounce bottle) stout beer, such as Guinness, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup sour cream, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease or place 24 paper liners in muffin tins.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In another mixing bowl, combine the beer, butter, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the sour cream until the mixture is thoroughly combined. In three separate parts, add the dry ingredients, blending well after each addition.

Pour the batter into the muffin tins, dividing equally to make 24 cupcakes.

Bake for 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 12 minutes, or until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool in pans on wire rack.

Adapted from Chocolate Stout Cupcakes, Dave Liedberman (Food Network)

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup powdered sugar
8 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift the sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Blend until smooth.